Music Is Not A Product, And You'll Never Adapt If You Think It Is
from the lessons-from-the-front dept
When a label executive tells you that they are "not in the business of selling discs", (or vinyl, tape, t-shirts, etc.) and that they are actually "selling music," they are, at best, fooling themselves, or at worst, lying to your face. Moving plastic, vinyl, paper and/or any other tangible good they can dream up is exactly what the recording industry has been about since it was established.He goes on to note that music is really an experience, and people should stop focusing on copyright law or the idea that file sharing is "stealing," and focus on the overall experience and building models based on that.
Sure, the labels spend money and time trying to infuse their products (CDs, posters, etc.) with content (music, album art, etc.) to raise its intrinsic value, but it's still the CD or poster that they are/were selling... not the music itself.
Of course, he doesn't quite get into the difference between a service and a product -- and it's one area that people sometimes get confused about, so one way to simplify it is to think of it like this: a product is a single thing created in the past that you now own. A service is paying for something to happen in the future. It's not a perfect explanation, but in my experience, this simple distinction often gets people thinking creatively about how to turn a business model into one focused on selling a service, rather than a product.